SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell confirmed that, along with their counterparts in England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Wales, they have today submitted a joint ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) to host the 16th staging of the tournament in six years time and said that the move “represents our commitment to continuing the momentum of Scottish football and the Scotland National Teams on the European, international and world stage”.
As it stands, with the deadline at 5pm today, there have been no competing bids lodged.
Turkey had shown some interest but it is understood they will not pursue it, while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has voided any thoughts of them pitching for it.
In a joint statement the five associations involved in the UK and Ireland bid said: “Football must do everything possible to show how our sport can be a force for good – now, more than ever. We are resolute in our belief in the power of football to help bring people together.”
The multi-nation bid, which has the backing of the Governments of the UK, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and follows a feasibility study which evaluated various hosting opportunities and the consequent economic and social benefits, should now progress unchallenged.
“It is an early milestone in our new strategic plan, The Power of Football, in aspiring to host major tournaments to showcase Scotland as a world-class football nation and venue, following the successful co-hosting of UEFA EURO 2020 at Hampden Park, Maxwell explained.
“We will now work with UEFA, our fellow national associations, UK and Scottish Governments and local authorities to present an aspirational bid that will bring significant social and economic benefits to Scotland and to our national game.
“This, in turn, will help deliver on other ambitious objectives across the game and reinforce the power of Scottish football.”
In their joint statement confirming the EOI, the bidding group, who initially need to provide 10 stadia meeting the various capacity requirements, pointed out their ability to increase that number if the current 24-team format is expanded, as suggested, to 32 teams by 2028.
“We believe Euro 2028 would be one of the greatest sporting events ever held in the UK and Ireland,” read the joint statement.
“This unprecedented partnership of five associations offers something special to European football, including the potential for an expanded tournament, and we are passionate about maximizing the sustainability and legacy benefits for communities across the UK and Ireland.”
Along with Hampden, Murrayfield, the home of Scottish Rugby, has also been listed among possible sites.
At the moment there is the requirement for at least one 60,000 capacity venue, preferably two more must be 50,000-seater, four require 40,000 seats and three must have 30,000.
While Scotland could also utilize the likes of Celtic Park and Ibrox, it is understood that there is a desire for a geographic spread across the UK and Ireland.
“Over the coming months, we will develop our proposals further, subject to the publication by UEFA of the full technical specification,” the joint statement added. “This includes engaging in discussions with possible host cities and stadia to define the optimum tournament model and conducting a full costs and benefits analysis.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.